10 lessons from the Chronic Stress and Trauma Release Challenge

The month of March ended without me quite reaching my goal of doing the trauma releasing exercises twice a week. I probably did them once a week. It’s important to actually listen to your body.

The last time I did them, I started my yoga session in the morning, and after one half of a sun salutation, I realized my body really wanted to shake.

So I did the “air chair” pose (Exercise 6a in the book) with knees bent, back against the wall, and held it for two minutes, long enough to get a strong burn in my quadricieps.

I went straight to my yoga mat, laid on my back, and immediately my legs began to tremble.

I experienced the usual waves of intense leg shaking. I had trembling and then some wild movement in my left shoulder, nothing in my right shoulder, and some rocking and head turning from side to side.

The leg shaking gradually wound down. I felt done after 10 minutes.

So here’s what I’ve learned about this practice:

  1. The trauma releasing exercises are good for nearly everyone, because nearly everyone carries extra tension in their body that’s below conscious awareness.
  2. Follow the exercises in the book or on the video completely for the first dozen or so times.
  3. It is ingrained in us to be in control of our bodies from an early age. It can be hard to learn how to let go. A facilitator who is supportive can be very helpful.
  4. If not much happens at first, don’t be discouraged. Do the exercises when you feel motivated, and be kind to yourself. Every body is different.
  5. If still not much happens, do them after a vigorous physical workout. Also, do them when you’re emotionally upset.
  6. Notice your release patterns and allow new patterns to arise. Some tension may be deeply embedded, and you need to release the superficial layers first.
  7. Feel gratitude for all the tension you are letting go of! You’re getting old stale patterns and energies out of your body! Yay!
  8. After you’ve done a good amount of shaking, trembling, quivering, and wild movement, try shortcuts like the one I described above.
  9. Listen to your body and do them when you feel the need. Once a week is probably good after you are getting some good shaking.
  10. Over time, notice whether you feel better physically or if your moods are more pleasant or your senses clearer. I imagine so.



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